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A major star in Russia and throughout Central Asia, Andrei Merzlikin will debut in the United States at New York's Tribeca Film Festival this week, just as supermodel Naomi Campbell moves in with Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin in Moscow.

In the middle you have Mel Gibson, busy ducking reporters at his Costa Rica ranch until the hubbub over his divorce dies down. Chances are he's keeping his Russian "Oksana" close.

The 24-year-old Russian pop star Oksana Pochepa recently told "The Sun" that she went to Costa Rica with Gibson and reportedly kept a diary of the affair (as one does). Gibson denies all of this.

"I'm Mel's Russian doll," Oksana told Russia Today, "I’m in love with him and it’s a mutual feeling. I hope our love is real and long-lasting."

Known in Russia as the "Shark" after her pop career took off, Oksana's "friend" told "Pravda" that she's a "shark hunting a big fish," prompting more speculation from tabloids and sordid details from Oksana "friends."

His Russian doll and Andrei Merzlikin's Tribeca film "Newsmakers" have something in common: as the film's program notes conclude, "the media is the weapon of most destruction." Poor Mel.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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